Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Napa Valley's 2006 vintage began with a wet winter that extended into spring, delivering more than twice the average rainfall for March and nearly four times the April average. The precipitation delayed bloom, but once the skies cleared, the vines had good fruit set and progressed slowly and steadily through slightly warmer than usual June weather. In July, a brief hot spell of four consecutive days over 100-degrees had the effect of putting the vines "on hold" before ripening continued when mild weather returned in August. Lower temperatures extended through September and October, with some fog and cloudy days. Overall, the 2006 growing season was significantly cooler than average, and harvest began generally later. Grapes for this wine were picked October 12-27. All the fruit was in the winery before light rains fell in early November. Crop levels for 2006 were average and thanks to the long hang time, which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, quality was excellent.
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Born to a French family in Morocco and raised in France, Genevieve’s formal wine education began under the tutelage of the legendary “three fathers” of modern enology—Jean Ribereau-Gayon; his son, Pascal Ribereau-Gayon; and Emile Peynaud—with whom she studied at the University of Bordeaux, France. After receiving her National Diploma of Enology 1974, she returned to her family’s vineyards in Corsica and France, which she managed from 1974 to 1977. Concurrently, she also owned and operated her own enology laboratory in Provence and served as consulting enologist to many French chateaux in the mid-seventies. Drawn to Robert Mondavi Winery’s philosophy in winemaking and winegrowing, Genevieve moved to the Napa Valley in 1978. She recognized in Robert Mondavi her father’s holistic approach to quality. “It starts with the earth, the legacy of what she had received from her ancestors and what she was going to leave for the future generation,” she says. “We must work to maintain the land, to grow so that we all live in symbiosis: the earth, the vines, the people—care creates quality.” From 1978–1979, she fully absorbed this philosophy, working at Robert Mondavi Winery as a lab enologist and an assistant enologist. Deeply interested in the winemaking revolution taking hold in the state, Genevieve continued exploring California for the next decade, holding several consulting positions. Genevieve’s connection to Robert Mondavi returned in 1989, when she became Director of Production at Opus One Winery. Then, in 1997, she came full circle as the Director of Winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery.